Maximize Reorganization and Restructuring Effectiveness Through OKRs

So, your organization is undergoing a large reorganization or restructuring (again). 


You are contemplating pausing or delaying some of the strategic initiatives that were planned to kick off this quarter until the game of musical chairs winds down and it’s clear where everyone lands.  


You anticipate big changes to the roles and responsibilities; certainly, accountability for some functions and initiatives will shift as people step into different roles.  


One Critical Initiative During Reorganization 


With all the confusion and uncertainty, it makes sense to pause some projects and initiatives. However, there’s one critical initiative that absolutely should NOT be delayed — the OKR strategic initiative, which produces disproportionate and timely benefits.  


Specifically, OKRs: 

  • Provide the “why” for the reorg; the rationale explaining and contextualizing the restructuring a strategic move, and to engage support for the change throughout the organization
  • Guide your people back to productivity faster, by providing clarity and focus on high-level strategic objectives that they can rapidly realign to
  • Align new leaders and newly formed teams horizontally, to identify dependencies and drive collaboration to realize enterprise value sooner with less waste 

OKRs deliver these benefits faster than anything else can during a reorganization, minimizing lost time and productivity amid dislocating and disruptive organizational change. Therefore:  


In times of restructuring and reorganization, amid changing organizational alignments and responsibilities, double down on your OKR-based strategy execution initiative 


Restructuring always produces a (hopefully short-term) loss of focus and productivity while fresh organizational responsibilities and alignments are forming. New relationships and collaboration patterns must be established to achieve productivity and results.  



A chart with an X and Y axis. The x-axis labeled "Performance Impact" and y-axis labeled "Team Effectiveness." The chart displays a downward slope that shifts to an upward slop (reverse bell-shaped), then a general plateau. Along this path are the labels "forming" (furthest left), "storming" (at the bottom of the curve), "norming" (in the middle of the incline) and "performing" (at the top of the curve and plateau).
Psychologist Bruce Tuckman came up with the memorable stages of change for teams in his 1965 paper, "Developmental Sequence in Small Groups."  It describes the path teams follow from formation, suffering then overcoming misalignment, to eventually achieving high performance. 



Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing 


People new to a role or adjusting to reorganization undergo a learning and relationship-building process before recovering confidence and effectiveness. 


Even smaller department reorganizations create uncertainty and distraction for employees. They worry about their career paths, establishing new relationships, and reevaluating their job satisfaction and success potential.  


Nothing is too simple, like getting a new boss, to be disrupting.  


The OKR framework provides a foundation of mission clarity, accelerating the path to performance in a new environment. Reestablishing focus is critical to the organization for achieving productivity and effectiveness after the dust settles. 


Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) are the ideal framework for a value-aligned and focused organization. OKRs are designed to provide adaptive strategy deployment and execution: amid chaos and disruption, the organization is resilient.  


OKRs enable organizations to quickly adapt and redeploy their strategy, refocusing workers on new strategic objectives without hesitation. Strategy via OKRs is both horizontally and vertically aligned in divisions, product lines, and functions, creating the resilience essential to survive and exploit disruptions.  


Amid major reorganization, a clearly articulated expression of critical objectives and the means of measuring achievement, through OKRs, enables leaders and workers to adapt to their new roles. This expression creates a focus on the north star of strategic outcomes to deliver from the day they land in their new role.  


Inevitably, some OKRs will change as strategy adapts or the assignments of people and teams change. A clear definition of the organization’s high-level strategic objectives and visibility of OKRs across functions and departments advances the timeline to recovering performance and effectiveness. 



Adaptation in the Shifting World of Strategy 


As we all know now, no industry is immune from disruption, and the rate of change will never be slower than it is today.  


Adaptability is the foundational competitive advantage in the modern economy.  


In the modern economy, traditional means of competitive advantage like scale, vertical integration, access to capital, and global distribution are all less impactful than adaptability. No longer do the large eat the small; now, the fast eat the slow.  


Being adaptable requires the ability to continually evolve higher fitness in your: 

  • Strategy
  • Business models
  • Operating models
  • Funding and resource allocation processes
  • Organizational design
  • Workforce skills
  • Effective empowerment and delegation
  • And more...


Don’t expect any of these models and structures to remain static long. Organizational fitness demands constant evolution and improvement of the products and services we bring to market, as well as the organization itself.  


Prepare the organization for resilience and adaptability with a strong strategy deployment and execution methodology based on OKRs. OKRs are the only framework capable of enabling a laser focus on strategic outcomes.  


If the OKR initiative is delayed or ineffective, the organization’s maturity in the critical capabilities of strategy deployment and execution is delayed as well. These delays inhibit the organization from regaining productivity and competitive fitness after restructuring or reorganization. 


Immaturity in strategy deployment ensures employees are distracted, misaligned, and disengaged. OKRs can have them aligned on delivering outcomes, focused on maximum impact, and deeply engaged with the mission and purpose.  


Double down on your OKR program now so your organization can become adaptable and resilient to change.